Popular Jordanian Mansaf dish is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List

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The mansaf dish is not just the national dish of Jordan but it has many secrets. It is considered the master of the Jordanian table, the most beloved food, and the first dish served in all rituals, social occasions, and various holidays.
In a historical precedent, Jordan officially succeeded in registering the “mansaf” dish, the most popular dish in Jordan, on the “world food list”.
Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Ambassador Makram Al-Qaisi, had announced earlier the success to register the “mansaf” on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The popular dish reflects the structure of Jordanian society marking the values of land and productivity by mixing agricultural and pastoral ingredients and products.
The traditional Jordanian dish has several ways of eating. In the traditional way, a group of people gathers around a large plate, put their left hands behind their backs, and eat with their right hands without using spoons. Using a spoon in eating mansaf is traditionally considered unacceptable

Shortlist

  • Soundbite (Faten Al-Mohsen – a Jordanian woman):
    “Mansaf dish is a traditional Jordanian dish, and we as Jordanians are proud of its inclusion in the UNESCO World Food List. We cannot do without it in our joys, sorrows, and important occasions.”
  • Soundbite (Faten Al-Mohsen – a Jordanian woman):
    Mansaf has a historical story according to historians. The dish is very old in history. I hope all mothers teach their daughters this special dish. We do not want this wonderful Jordanian heritage to perish. It must be passed down through the generations.”
  • Soundbite (Faten Al-Mohsen – a Jordanian woman):
    “Jameed Karaki is made of milk, placed in a way in the sun in the form of balls to dry. The less salt it has, the higher quality.”
  • Soundbite (Faten Al-Mohsen – a Jordanian woman):
    “When we start to boil the meat with flavors, we put a tablespoon or two of local ghee and boil it until it is medium-well. Then, we add it to the yogurt, which is a mixture of the flavor of meat and yogurt until it is well-done.”
  • Soundbite (Faten Al-Mohsen – a Jordanian woman):
    The history of Mansaf dates back to before Christ, according to history books, when King Mesha of Moab ordered to cook milk and meat and mix them together and he considered that whoever does not eat this dish is his enemy. When he found that the whole people were cooking and eating from this dish, he broke (Arabic for nasaf) all the treaties with his enemies, attacked and defeated them, hence the name of the dish, “mansaf”. The second saying comes from sifting the wheat (Arabic verb for nasaf). In the past, people used to make mansaf with wheat instead of rice, so they sifted wheat with milk to filter out the husk from the wheat grain. “
  • Soundbite (Faten Al-Mohsen – a Jordanian woman):
    “To present the mansaf dish, we put shrak bread on the plate first and pour some yogurt on it. Then we put the prepared rice and meat and decorate it with nuts. Then we pour a little yogurt and cover it with a loaf of shrak bread.”
  • Soundbite (Faten Al-Mohsen – a Jordanian woman):
    “It is from the habit of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, peace be upon him, to eat with one’s hand. We eat with only 3 fingers and roll morsel into a ball of rice, milk, and meat. It is really a special dish even in the way it is eaten.”
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